Tag Archives | questions

Mexico sunset

Easy decisions and new questions about sailing home

It was a snap decision, but pointing to the US in 2016 suddenly made sense (the kicker was learning of people we love with poor health). From that one follow a myriad of other decisions. Here’s are some clarifications, and what we know, and what’s keeping me up at night. We aren’t going to stop […]


What makes a good cruising boat?

In our home waters of Puget Sound, traditional boats predominate. The longer we’ve been gone cruising and thought about the qualities that matter to us, the more we wonder why people don’t break out of the mold more often. A family we met on Borneo on a decidedly racy boat, Relapse, inspired the monthly cruising column […]


Boatschooling, Part 2: learning on Totem

How to boatschool is one of the questions we’re asked most frequently. To try and offer a meatier reply, I’m breaking this out into multiple posts: thoughts on how to get started, how learning looks on Totem, and things I wish I’d known before. The first post offered thoughts on finding a path: Part 2 […]


Boatschooling, Part 1: finding a path

“Are you homeschooling your children?” It surprises me how often we are asked this question, given that we have been away from home for five years with kids who are smack in the elementary/middle school window of learning. The snark in me is tempted to say “no, we’re not,” and watch the reaction. Partly because, […]


Top Ten Snorkeling Spots- Part 3

Maybe we should subtitle the blog “a family snorkelizing around the world.” We love getting underwater, and  it shows! Our favorite five are epic; the next five are pretty spectacular too. Yet it was so hard to just share ten favorites, I can’t resist sharing the other places that loom large in our memory. They […]


Top Ten Snorkeling Spots- Part 2

What are the top ten snorkeling spots we’ve visited? The last post covered our top five all time favorites; this is the next in line. They are also amazing underwater experiences, but didn’t hit on quite as many dimensions. Still, each one is a spectacular and unique destination that provided extremely memorable snorkeling. They’re all […]


Top Ten Snorkeling Spots

What are the top ten snorkeling spots we’ve visited? Sitting in the cockpit as we left our anchorage at sunrise this morning, Jamie and I talked through our favorites. Remembering each one is like talking about an old friend: recalling good times, personalities, and what occupied our lives at the time. The reefs off Misool […]


Demystifying international clearance for cruisers

I have a new appreciation for how easily most international travelers are able to pass the gauntlets to enter a foreign country. A little form on the plane, a stamp in your passport, and you’re off to your hotel. Sometimes we are lucky to have a very simple clearance (record: 13 minutes, Cook Islands)… and […]


Sun protection for pasty white cruisers

Scoping boobies on Isla Isabel Sun protection- with sunscreen, sun protective clothing, and more- is something we take pretty seriously on Totem. When I was a teenager, my mother was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. My uncle (her brother) died from metastasized skin cancer. Jamie’s family has a history of skin carcinomas, so you could say […]


The Sailing Podcast interviews Totem

Just recently, Jamie and I spent a really nice hour chatting with David Anderson of The Sailing Podcast. He and his wife Carina have a great series of interviews for sailors. David had been in touch with us a while back, but took months for us to be parked in a place with dependable internet […]

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